Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vacation to North Carolina

After driving on curving, winding roads through the mountains alongside sheer cliffs with spectacular views of mountains and river gorges we arrived at our destination. Sapphire Valley, Cashiers, North Carolina. The first day of hiking and exploring the area, we hiked a 2-mile trail to the top of Whiteside Mountain for a spectacular view of the valley. Whiteside Mtn is one of the oldest mountains in the world with an elevation of 4930 feet.
That evening Kevin, Cody, and I then hiked around Fairfield Lake, a 55-acre lake beside Bald Rock Mountain. The lake hike was much longer than we thought after hiking so long that morning and our legs were tired. The trail was a quiet one with hardly anyone else hiking beside the beautiful lake nestled in the valley around the giant mountains. Cody was a strong little hiker, only complaining towards the end that his little legs hurt.We saw many waterfalls in the area during our vacation. Dry Falls was one of our favorites. This beautiful 80-foot waterfall was just a short distance from the highway and you could walk behind it. The boys thought that was awesome. One of the days was misty rain and very foggy. We took the boys gem mining and did a little shopping in a quaint little town up the winding road. One of our most strenuous hikes was to Rainbow Falls. This was a very long trail along steep mountain sides, slippery rocks; over a rocky path filled with knarled roots. At the end was an amazing 150 foot waterfall, up the path from that gorgeous waterfall was another fall called Turtleback Falls. Then we had to turn around and hike all the way back. I was amazed how well the kids did on that hike because it was long and rough. My knees and legs were aching all night long. But the next morning, we were up and ready to discover more waterfalls. Here is the bottom of Narrows Falls. Whitewater Falls was another spectacular waterfall that was not a long trail. It is the tallest waterfall in the East at 420 feet! For our last day of hiking, we hiked a moderate trail to the top of Bald Rock Mountain.
The color of autumn had unfolded before our eyes during our week in North Carolina. By the last day, the trees were gold, crimson, and amber. What a breathtaking view it was from the top of a mountain.

3 comments:

Jim said...

Beautiful pics! Looks like y'all had a great time. I remember me & Ben piling into the back of 'Sherman,' an old green Ford pickup that Dad used to have & going to the Smokies in it. Mom & Dad rode up front, Ben & I in the back. Fortunately it had a camper top on it, and we had a pop-up camper to sleep in! Lots of great memories in the Smokies....

Kev said...

Had a blast and missing it already. Wish we were still in the mountains hoping to catch our garbage bear in the act!

Miss you guys!

Mom said...

Love the mountains. Glad you all were able to hike some great trails. The waterfalls in the area are awesome!